Blog Post List
July 16, 2014
Most of you are undoubtedly familiar with the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Emperor's New Clothes." You may even have read it to your kids and grandkids. Remember how the two unscrupulous weavers promise the vain and pretentious emperor to create for him new clothes woven of material so marvelous, not to mention expensive, that only those clever, competent and worthy of the emperor's goodwill will be able to see it? His fearful subjects, unwilling to state what their eyes see before them, mumble the appropriate oohs and aahs when the emperor, thinking himself oh so regally decked out,...
April 7, 2014
Thank you MomsRising and Maryland Moms! With your help, the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 621 / Senate Bill 700, legislation that generates revenue for professional pesticide usage reporting through a modest increase on the annual pesticide manufacturers product registration fee. Establishing dedicated funds for pesticide reporting in Maryland is a first step toward better protecting our families, the Chesapeake Bay and wildlife – including our very important honeybees. Our children are at greater risk from pesticide exposures. In addition to a growing body of research linking...
February 20, 2014
As you may remember, Smart on Pesticides Maryland has been trying very hard to advocate for pesticide reporting in Maryland and we’ve made some great progress. Recently, a state legislative workgroup determined that there are data gaps in pesticide use – particularly related to where, when and the amount of specific pesticides being used – and suggested that legislation be enacted to help collect that information. As a result of the workgroup’s diligence, there is now a bill on the table in both the House (HB621) and Senate (SB 700) in the 2014 Maryland General Assembly. HB 621 / SB 700 would...
January 29, 2014
What do Maryland’s kids, our declining honeybees and fish have in common – and especially during this Maryland 2014 legislative session? Pesticides! High rates of childhood cancer, autism, ADHD and asthma in Maryland and elsewhere have been linked to pesticide exposures. Pesticides are also implicated in intersex fish found in Maryland’s waterways; the “canaries in the coalmine,” according to USGS scientist Dr. Vicki Blazer. Pesticides are also linked to the startling decline in honeybees, frogs and butterflies. Just this past year Maryland beekeepers lost more than half of their beehives...
October 9, 2013
Researchers increasingly draw links between pesticides and serious illnesses like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, birth defects, and a host of others, as well as impacts on aquatic life, such as the Potomac River’s very own intersex fish. Lately the mystery surrounding worldwide beehive loss is leading researchers to question when, where and how pesticides are used and how they affect bees. Maybe the beekeepers’ demand for the most basic pesticide information could be a tipping point in the quest for a reporting database.
September 3, 2013
We are making progress on confirming the need for a Maryland pesticide use database! And so many of you helped us get here. The August meeting of the Maryland Pesticide and Information Act Workgroup, its second, focused on what we do and don’t know about pesticides. The workgroup, consisting of stakeholders on both sides, was established by a law passed in the 2013 by the Maryland General Assembly with the help of MomsRising members. A group of scientists and researchers came to Annapolis to answer four basic questions: 1. What pesticides data exists and who uses it? 2. What information gaps...
July 16, 2013
There’s a saying in Maryland that to kill a bill, you send it to summer study. Well, last week the Maryland Pesticide Reporting and Information Workgroup met for the first time in Annapolis – and we’re here to make sure these summer students turn their homework in on time. Whether you are a mom from Maryland or Michigan, whether you have kids or once were a kid, getting more information about pesticides can only be good for our health. But if no one is paying attention this summer, we could lose again.
April 9, 2013
Recent editorials in the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun underscored what YOU have been telling our Maryland legislators the past few months- we need a pesticide use reporting data base! It takes a village to pass a good bill and you all are important members of our village. Thank you for your calls and e-mails - they made a difference! Despite significant opposition from the Farm Bureau, the Agribusiness Industry and the Lawn Care and Pest Control Industry, with your help and the help of so many Maryland moms, they were not able to undermine our efforts. Instead, an amended Maryland...
March 8, 2013
You would think getting a sane right-to-know bill passed in the Maryland legislature right now would be a done deal—right? Not so much. Industry opposition has killed a safe, sane and not-at-all burdensome Pesticide Reporting and Information Act, currently being considered by Maryland legislators, the three previous times it’s been introduced. Our public health and environmental experts, who are working to protect us, have been denied data to help them determine which pesticides may be impacting our children’s health and our waterways. This bill will provide them with that knowledge.
February 14, 2013
The Smart on Pesticides Maryland coalition recently commissioned a poll to learn what Maryland voters’ attitudes towards pesticides are. Guess what? It found that a whopping eight out of 10 voters said they are concerned about the risk of pesticides to their families’ health. (I want to meet the two out of 10 who are not concerned!) When informed about the links to chronic illnesses and environmental problems, that number rose to 92 percent.
February 4, 2013
In 1990, when I lived in Los Angeles, my 4-year old son and I were both poisoned by the aerial spraying of malathion. The state had sprayed vast residential areas in an attempt to eradicate the Mediterranean fruit fly—a devastating pest that threatened California’s multi-billion dollar agriculture industry. That terrifying experience led me to where I am today: leading the charge for smart pesticide reporting in Maryland. A few years after the spraying incident, we moved to Annapolis, the capital of Maryland, in the heart of the beautiful Chesapeake Bay watershed. To my horror I discovered...